Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library

The Orthodox Choral Heritage Foundation

The Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library is a project of the Orthodox Choral Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose primary mission and goal is the preservation and cultivation of Orthodox Christian traditions of choral music and chant. Its current Research Director is Dr. Vladimir Morosan, who is one of the leading experts in the West in the field of Orthodox liturgical music.

The Orthodox Choral Heritage Foundation began its existence as the Russian Choral Society, a performing organization founded in the 1970s by Basil F. Joukov and Vladimir P. Roudenko, in the New York area, for the purpose of cultivating and disseminating the knowledge and appreciation of Russian Orthodox choral music-—a tradition that, beginning in the 1920s, was severely suppressed in the country of its origins.

After Mr. Roudenko's retirement in the early 1980s, the musical leadership of the choir was assumed by Vladimir Morosan, Doctor of Musical Arts. Under his direction, the choir of the RCS participated in concerts and festivals marking the celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus' into Christianity.

In connection with celebrating the Millennium, in 1988 the Russian Choral Society sponsored the publication of a series of scholarly editions of Russian sacred choral music—The Monuments of Russian Sacred Music—the aim of which was to make the 1000-year history of Eastern Slavic Orthodox chant as well as the works of major Orthodox composers such as Bortniansky Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Gretchaninoff, Kastalsky, and Chesnokov, and others, accessible to the Western musical world. With endorsements from famed cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Russian Academician Dmitry Likhachev, and with the assistance of a bequest from Iwan A. Schian, the Russian Choral Society partnered with music publisher Musica Russica to initiate an unprecedented series of editions, which have done much to make Russian, Ukrainian, and other Eastern Orthodox choral music accessible to choral performers and audiences throughout the world.

With the transition of the Russian Choral Society to the Orthodox Choral Heritage Foundation, the essential mission of the organization remains unchanged: to ensure that accurate, authentic sources and subsequent high-quality editions of Orthodox sacred chant and choral music continue to be widely available to performers, scholars, and church musicians around the world. The establishment of the online Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library is designed to fulfill that mission. We are grateful for your support and patronage.